AAFP Honors Top 10 Medical Schools for Contributions to Family Medicine Workforce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   
Friday, April 29, 2011

Contact:
Leslie Champlin
Senior Public Relations Strategist
American Academy of Family Physicians
(800) 274-2237 Ext. 6252
lchampli@aafp.org

NEW ORLEANS — Ten allopathic medical schools that have contributed the most to the pipeline of family physicians were honored today when the American Academy of Family Physicians presented its Top Ten Awards during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Annual Spring Conference. The awards recognize schools that, during a three-year period, graduate the greatest percentage of students who choose first-year family medicine residency positions.

At a time when the United States is facing a shortage of primary care physicians, filling the pipeline is vital to the health of America, according to AAFP President Roland Goertz, M.D.

“Family physicians are the bedrock of primary care, and primary care is the foundation of a health care system that provides high quality, effective and efficient care to patients,” he said. “It all begins with the medical schools and their faculty’s commitment to family medicine. Increasingly, medical schools are working toward building the primary care physician workforce, and we applaud their efforts. The Top 10 Awards recognize schools’ consistent effort made over time.”

Perry Pugno, M.D., AAFP vice president for education, agreed. “We fully recognize that many schools are making substantial contributions to addressing the nation’s critical need for primary care physicians,” he said. “We acknowledge the top 10 schools as a way of raising the visibility of the important contributions all of our medical schools are making.”

Top 10 Award schools employ several initiatives that support students who are interested in and most likely to become family physicians. Those initiatives include student outreach, admissions policies that target students from rural and medically underserved areas, clinical rotations that emphasize positive experiences in family medicine, faculty involvement in medical school committees, strong family medicine interest groups and financial aid packages that minimize student debt.

The 2011 award recipients and the percentage of graduates entering family medicine are:

  • The University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences, with 19.6 percent,
  • The Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, with 18.9 percent,
  • University of New Mexico School of Medicine;, with 17.1 percent,
  • University of Kansas School of Medicine, with 16.3 percent,
  • Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University, with 16.3 percent,
  • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences College of Medicine, with 15.8 percent,
  • Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, with 15.8 percent,
  • University of Minnesota Medical School, with 15.6 percent,
  • Texas A&M University Health Science Center College of Medicine, with 15.3 percent, and
  • Sanford School of Medicine of The University of South Dakota, with 15.0 percent

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Founded in 1947, the American Academy of Family Physicians represents 131,400 physicians and medical students nationwide, and it is the only medical society devoted solely to primary care.

Family physicians conduct approximately one in five of the total medical office visits in the United States per year – more than any other specialty. Family physicians provide comprehensive, evidence-based, and cost-effective care dedicated to improving the health of patients, families and communities. Family medicine’s cornerstone is an ongoing and personal patient-physician relationship where the family physician serves as the hub of each patient’s integrated care team. More Americans depend on family physicians than on any other medical specialty.

To learn more about the AAFP and family medicine, visit www.aafp.org/media. Follow us on Twitter,(twitter.com) and like us on Facebook. For information about health care, health conditions and wellness, visit the AAFP’s award-winning consumer website, www.familydoctor.org(familydoctor.org).